He's worked with everyone from The Tubes to 3.2 featuring Robert Berry. Get to know Andrew Colyer, our TALENT SCOUT Artist of the Week!
NAME: Andrew Colyer
HOMETOWN: Red Hook, New York
MUSICAL TRAINING: My classical training began at 3 years old, and includes studies at the Juilliard School for composition and orchestral conducting. I’ve also studied jazz and had my own duo/trio/quartet groups since the 90’s. The best rock training came from joining the progressive rock tribute band Downing Grey, where we performed three hour shows of YES, Genesis, Emerson Lake & Palmer, King Crimson, UK, Pink Floyd, Rush, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, and Gentle Giant.
FIRST GIGS: I started playing the piano and singing for churches in the 5th grade, playing for weddings in the 7th grade, and by the 9th grade I was playing local bars and restaurants. My first rock gig was playing in a cover band, with 100 cans of lights right over our heads. The clouds of cigarette smoke combined with the fog machines onstage made it hard to see or breathe by the end of the night!
MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Keith Jarrett, Bruce Hornsby, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Lyle Mays, Rick Wakeman, Tony Banks, Eddie Jobson, Keith Emerson, Jordan Rudess, Adam Holzman. ELO, Journey, Styx, Kansas, Steven Wilson, Peter Gabriel, Pat Metheny, Sting, John Williams, John Barry, Hans Zimmer, David Foster, Quincy Jones.
WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: I’m obsessively listening to the two-hour set list for the upcoming “3.2 featuring Robert Berry” 29-date North American tour. But aside from that, there are some really great players out there, including Tigran Hamasyan, Gerald Peter, Gleb Kolyadin (i am the morning), Vikram Shankar (Lux Terminus), and Zsolt Kaltenecker (Special Providence).
MY BIG BREAK: I would say my first big break was meeting Dave Medd from The Tubes after one of Robert Berry’s December People shows. That relationship led to me being Dave’s backup on keys and vocals for The Tubes, which opened a lot of doors for me. The second big thing that happened was getting to perform on keys/vocals with the Prog Rock Orchestra on the 2014 Moody Blues Cruise and YES Cruise to the Edge. That changed the trajectory of my career.
LATEST PROJECTS: My band Circuline is currently producing our fourth product, a live CD/DVD/Blu-Ray from our Progstock performance, and we’re working on our third studio album. With progressive metal band Awaken, we just finished an epic, 90-minute double album, Out of the Shadows. I’m excited and proud to be a part of Happy the Man and Oblivion Sun leader Frank Wyatt’s new album, Zeitgeist. For the band Cell15, I was on the second album River Utopia out last year with a performance at RoSfest. My solo piano album Christmas Timewas awarded a Bronze Medal for holiday music from the Global Music Awards, which was very exciting.
FAVORITE KEYBOARDS AND WHY? I’m currently a sponsored artist with Roland and Korg, and a ROLI artist as well. I’m really loving my new Roland AX-EDGE, which I had custom painted by New York artist Andrew Kaminski. I’m grateful to Jack Hotop and the friends at Korg. I love my Kronos! For this upcoming tour I’m also using an Arturia Keylab 88 as a controller keyboard.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? Besides the Circuline products, I’m hoping to have another solo album out in 2020. Immediately pressing is the upcoming “3.2 featuring Robert Berry” tour, which is “30 years of Progressive Rock”. We’re covering the last work of the great Keith Emerson, the album he was making with Robert when he tragically passed away. We’re also covering material from the 3 - To the Power of Three album from the 80’s, when they had a top-10 Billboard hit with “Talkin’ Bout”. We’re also doing Robert’s re-imagined Magna Carta versions of YES’s “Roundabout”, Genesis’ “Watcher of the Skies”, Jethro Tull’s “Minstrel in the Gallery”, Ambrosia’s “Life Beyond L.A.”, and the Jordan Rudess version of ELP’s “Karn Evil 9”.
ADVICE TO THE NEXT GENERATION: In today’s world, it’s 50% music, and 50% business. Besides talent, you must also have perseverance, determination, and stamina, so make sure you work on your mental game, and stay as healthy as you possibly can. Be fun to work with, and make connections - they are invaluable, and some of those friendships can last a lifetime, as well as get you more work. If you want to have a career 20 years from now, start growing your own fan base as soon as possible.
For more information visit http://colyermusic.com/